Behind the Event:
Each year Spain hosts Fitur Congresos, a conference to promote Spain to international event planners. About 200 planners from 30 countries attended the 2008 event. The U.S. Tourist Office of Spain invited a dozen planners to participate in the program, and hosted a welcome reception to begin the program.
Because the event was attended by event and meeting planners, Wasy Kushchynskj, trade relationship manager for the Tourist Office of Spain, and the hotel sponsoring the reception chose to showcase many of its different items.
A typical Spanish cocktail reception will serve between 6 and 10 different hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, along with other platters, buffet items, desserts and beverages.
It’s worth noting that many planners may be surprised that the reception hours are from 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. It is customary in Spain to eat dinner late. It’s also important to note that this Spanish cocktail reception menu is designed to serve also as dinner.
- Theme: Spanish Cocktail Welcome Reception
- Type: Client Event
- Location: Meliá Castille, Madrid, Spain
- Event Space: Patio Jardin, 156 square meters/511 square feet
- Date: January 27, 2008
- Time: 9:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
- Total Attendees: 15
- Event Manager: Wasy Kushchynski
The event had many different samples of hot and cold items so that attendees had an opportunity to taste new items and to try Spanish cuisine. Most of the hot and cold hors d’oeuvres were served passed, but they were also displayed with the buffet and dessert items.
Of course, the most recognizable menu item of a Spanish event is paella.
Beverages included Spanish wine and a standard bar menu.
- Ham with pineapple
- Serrano ham croissants
- Iberian sausage croissants
- Smoked salmon
- Small salad tart with quail eggs
- Anchovies with tomato
- Sobasada (soft spicy sauge) sandwich with honey
- Bird foie snack
- Beef sandwich with pickes
- Cheese kebab with black grapes
- Kebab of smoked salmon & cheese with fine herbs
- Cheese sandwich with quince jelly
- Chicken croquettes
- Mini Neapolitan pizza
- Cheese croquettes
- Spanish omelet squares
- Tuna-filled mini pies
- Bacon-wrapped dates
- Mini Quiche Lorraine
- Calamari a la romana
- Valencian Paella
- Fideuà (Noodle Paella)
- Rice made with regional vegetables and ham
- French pastries
- Scottish Whisky – cocktails
- Beer –Rose Wine
- Sodas—Mineral Water
- Cava – Coffee
The event was held in a meeting room that is meant for meals and receptions, and is designed with a patio garden theme (e.g., with trellises). Therefore, additional decorations were limited to those used in the buffet serving area, including items being served. White table cloths were used throughout.
The event was an informal meet and greet, scheduled at the beginning of a three day program. No formal presentation was part of the event; instead, the event host Teresa Gancedo Nieto, director of the Tourist Office of Spain, Chicago, and Kushchynskj personally welcomed and introduced the various guests.